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The capital-intensity reversal in the postwar Japanese economy: Why did Japan grow so fast during 1955-1975?

Takahashi, Harutaka (2004): The capital-intensity reversal in the postwar Japanese economy: Why did Japan grow so fast during 1955-1975?

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Abstract

Our main result is the following: during the high-speed growth era, from 1955 to 1973, the investment sector was more capital-intensive than the consumption sector. Just after the 1973 oil-shock, around 1975, the consumption sector turned out to be more capital-intensive than the investment sector. Since then, the consumption sector has been capital-intensive through the stable-growth era, from 1975 to 1984, and the Bubble era, from 1985 to 1995. In other words, we observe the appearance of a so-called “capital-intensity reversal” around 1975. Due to the 1973 oil shock, the economic structure of the Japanese economy has totally changed. Thus many researchers believe that this external shock brought the Japanese high-speed growth era to an end. On the contrary, as our empirical study has shown here, the capital-intensity reversal of the Japanese economy could have endogenously occurred as a result of the demand effect accruing from the high economic growth.

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